How are the government planning to change SEND education?

Here we highlight what are the key findings of the SEND review are and mean for SEND you can read the full article here in the education Hub

The government have published a SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper for public consultation and set out a vision for a more inclusive, consistent, transparent, and accountable system, they say.

Green Papers are consultation documents produced by the government. The aim of this document is to allow people both inside and outside Parliament to give the department feedback.

Children, parents, and those working in the SEND system will be able to give their views and read proposals designed to provide the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

How will these proposals make it easier for parents of children and young people with SEND?

The Green Paper sets out proposals to ensure that every child and young person has their needs quickly identified and met more consistently, based on their needs, not by where they live.

They are proposing to establish a single national SEND and alternative provision system.

The new system will set clear standards for the provision that children and young people should expect to receive, and the processes that should be in place to access it.

A new legal requirement for councils to introduce ‘local inclusion plans’ that bring together early years, schools and post-16 education with health and care services.

There are also plans for improved training, oversight and transparency through the publication of new ‘local inclusion dashboards’.

They will also work to change the culture in mainstream education so that it is more inclusive. This will help to better identify and support needs, including through earlier intervention and improved targeted support.

They are also setting out our plans to improve alternative provision.

Will there be additional investment? 

They have announced £1.4 billion of capital funding allocations for councils to pay for new places and improve existing provision for children and young people with SEND, or those who will benefit from high-quality alternative provision.

The government will also look to approve 40 new special and alternative provision free schools in regions where they are most needed. This is in addition to over 60 special and alternative provision free schools already in the pipeline.

Low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children will be further supported through investment of £27.3 million next year. This funding will help pay for equipment, goods or services – from washing machines and fridges to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford. 

Magnet and honeypot schools

On the 12th January 2022 Dan Worth wrote an interesting article in TES on magnet and honeypot schools probing how the SEND review would help the growing gap between schools with high numbers of pupils with SEND and those with few. 

Below are some highlights from this blog which is worth reading whether you wish to respond to the Green Paper or not.

Dan Worth explained “the terms “magnet school” and “honeypot school” are now commonly used to represent the schools that have a percentage of students with SEND on roll that is far higher than the percentage of students with SEND in the local population.

This situation occurs because the school begins to get a reputation for delivering a broad and inclusive curriculum for students with SEND. Parents of children with SEND then promote this to other parents. 

This, combined with other schools having less favourable reputations for SEND provision, means the magnet school then draws in an ever-larger proportion of students with SEND from across the school’s catchment area and beyond – and eventually more than other schools nearby.

Dan Worth quotes a headteacher saying it is like having a five star review on trip advisor.

Many headteachers of “honeypot schools point to the fact that their higher-than-average proportion of students with SEND is not significantly recognised by Ofsted, by the government, by accountability metrics and, most of all, in the funding formulas.”


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